Brick's Picks: Kids 'n' Players

Charmaine Clamor’s back at Catalina Bar and Grill on Friday and Saturday. She made a big splash with Flippin’ — its hip mix of beautifully arranged standards and jazzed-up Tagalog love songs took the “Filipina Singing Sensation” into the upper reaches of the jazz and world charts. And no wonder: Her husky, sassy tone, languid moves and unpretentious Pinoy attitude that’s just a tad rebellious have the kind of natural appeal you can’t buy at any music school. She’s joined here by swinging crooner (and husband) Michael Konik and the superb Filipino vocalist Mon David (check out his My One and Only Love).

Speaking of flippin’, alto Zane Musa can get absolutely crazy playing his bop and blues and funk at Charlie O’s; he’s there on Friday, the same night that cornetist Bobby Bradford’s Mo’tet do their monthly gig at Café 322 out in Sierra Madre. Bobby’s been around a long while but he ain’t gone soft, and people pack the house for his uncompromising band. Even when they get gone the folks seem to dig it. The families eat their pizza and listen without flinching. Amazing. Also this weekend the new Los Angeles Jazz Collective announce themselves with a two-day festival beginning on Friday at the Pasadena Jazz Institute (in the Paseo Colorado), with bands led by tough new-breed players like Damon Zick, Brian Swartz and Josh Welchez ... and then on Saturday at Café Metropol, with bands led by pianist Gary Fukushima, brilliant saxist Matt Otto, Coleman Hawkins–influenced Robby Marshall and the outfit Option 3. Two uncompromising nights guaranteed.

Brazilian fusion guitarist Rafael Moreira released the fine fusion Acid Guitar in 2005 and is at the Baked Potato on Saturday, while across town, vocalist Dwight Trible appears with Build an Ark at the Getty Center at 8 p.m. (and at 3 p.m. on Sunday). The Ark is a powerful collective, and one never knows who will be there, but Charles Owens, Nate Morgan, Nedra Wheeler and Phil Ranelin have all been aboard before. The show’s free, but reservations are required. Go to or call (310) 440-7300.

On Wednesday, hear some of the latest in jazzoid sounds at the Mint with the Tulsa-based Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey at 8 p.m.; their Lil’ Tae Rides Again is a strange, spacy little thing that keeps finding its way back into the CD player. So this could be a fascinating gig, especially if you’re in the right frame of mind for its self-described “hallucinatory psych-jazz.” Then, provided you can still drive, make for Mr. T’s Bowl in Highland Park by 10:30 for NYC drummer Matt Crane and saxophonist Adam Diller. Diller typically mixes his skronky jazz blowing with hip-hop and electronica, while unhelpfully citing Sun Ra, Edgar Varèse, Thomas Pynchon and Charles Bronson as influences (that must have been some session, though Pynchon probably never showed up). Meanwhile, his fervently over-the-edge collaborator Crane claims inspiration from everyone and everything: Ornette, of course, but also Black Flag and Harry Partch and Elvin and Philly Joe and Rashied Ali (and voodoo drumming and bata drums and a stack of old funk 45s ...). They asked that bassist Steve Reed and guitarist Joe Baiza join them for a schizoid jazz-stomp blowout. It’s free too.

But enough about the damn kids. Jazz god Sonny Rollins is at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday. ’Nuff said, really, and even if his recent performances here have been a little underwhelming, he’s still Sonny Rollins. Check out East Broadway Run Down from 1966, where he and Freddie Hubbard just went out there crazy. You college hipsters can’t be talking all Trane and Ornette and not know this album. Mandatory listening. Hubbard begins his three-day 70th-birthday party this Thursday at Catalina. Check out the lineup: James Spaulding, Slide Hampton, Craig Handy, David Weiss, George Cables, Roy McCurdy and who knows who else — you better make your reservations now. Also, Dr. Lonnie Smith’s Crescent Boogaloo are at the Jazz Bakery through Saturday, including some excellent players, like alto Donald Harrison and trumpeter Christian Scott, and at the Bakery on Tuesday it’s Brazilian jazz pianist Marcos Ariel’s trio with the pure Brazilian drumming of Paulo Braga. Chuck Manning is still celebrating his brilliant Notes From the Real, this time at Charlie O’s on Saturday. Finally, on Thursday the hard-bopping CJS Quintet are at the Lighthouse, while drummer Matt Gordy’s quartet plays the Crowne.

(Brick can be reached at

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